INDIAN TRIBAL ART - MADHUBANI & PATTACHITRA
E - incarnation promotes and supports the artisan to engage in to recycling of products to ensure sustainable lifestyle protecting environment assisting them with resources and providing them platform to create masterpieces contributing to aesthetics and sustainable living.
E- incarnation also promotes the craftsman by providing them employment opportunities, creating the products to be used in daily life cycle such as organic products and reusable items.
Also known as Mithila painting due to its origins in the Mithila region of India and Nepal, Madhubani is a traditional Indian folk part made on canvas, cloth or cow dung washed hand paper. Natural dye and colors are used in creation of Madhubani artworks with geometrical figures and vibrant colors being key elements. Commonly depicted subjects in Madhubani paintings are Ardhanarishvara (depicted as half male and half female which is believed to be a composite androgynous form of the Hindu God Shiva and His consort Parvati - a unison of supreme powers), Mythological characters (Ram, Sita, etc), Marriages, Festivals, Sun and Moon and many more.
The Madhubani style of painting can be traced to the Madhubani district in Bihar, literally meaning 'a forest of honey', where women spent a lot of time making these paintings on the walls of their homes. Mainly attributed to the upper caste in the beginning, this was later taken up by women across all castes. The women used their keen sense of beauty to create evocative paintings of gods and goddesses, animals and characters from mythology, using natural dyes and pigments and painted with the help of twigs, fingers and matchsticks.
The Pattachitra when painted on cloth follows a traditional process of preparation of the canvas. First the base is prepared by coating the cloth with the soft, white, stone powder of chalk and glue made from tamarind seeds. This gives the cloth tensile strength and a smooth, semi-absorbent surface, allowing it to accept the paint. The artist does not use a pencil or charcoal for the preliminary drawings. It is a tradition to complete the borders of the painting first. The painter then starts making a rough sketch directly with the brush using light red and yellow. The main flat colors are applied next; the colors used are normally white, red, yellow, and black. The painter then finishes the painting with fine stokes of black brush lines, giving the effect of pen work. When the painting is completed it is held over a charcoal fire and lacquer is applied to the surface. This makes the painting water resistant and durable, besides giving it a shining finish.
The materials used in the paint are from vegetable, earth, and mineral sources. Black is made out of lampblack, yellow from haritala stone, and red from shingle stone. White is prepared from crushed, boiled, and filtered shells. The subject matter of the Pattachitras include religious, mythological, and folk themes. Krishna Leela and Lord Jagannath are important motifs.
The Pattachitra artists also paint their themes on wooden boxes, on bowls, on tussar silk, on outer shells of the coconut, and on wooden doors. They are also working on producing painted wooden toys based on animals and birds portrayed in the paintings. The English alphabet is cut in the wood and painted in the Pattachitra style for sale. The artists have also traditionally painted playing cards or Ganjifa. Chitra-pothies --- a collection of painted palm leaves stacked on top of each other and held together between painted wood covers by means of a string --- illustrate mythological themes.
Pattachitra paintings were traditionally drawn by the Mahapatra or maharanas, the original artiste caste in Odisha. These paintings became an important art form with the ornamentation of Lord Jagannath in the innermost sanctum, where paintings on especially treated Cloth or Pata of the deities were done by the temple painter. The themes were tribal and folk.
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